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Kimbo74: Prozac to ease Lexapro Withdrawal?


kimbo74

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Hello! I am so glad to have found this site and even just to read a post by another member who was in hell at the 5 day post withdrawal of Lexapro. (Where I am now). After a real meltdown yesterday I am seeing my Dr this afternoon but had some questions I was hoping someone could help with, based on their experience?

 

I started Lexapro for post natal anxiety 3 years ago. After a year on and feeling wonderful I slowly tapered off and did fine. I recall some mild brain zaps and tears each time I stepped down the dose but nothing that did not pass within 72 hrs. I was on a 10mg dose but do not recall how I tapered.

 

3-6mths later I had some big issues in my life and was a mess. I missed my coping mechanism and went back on. My Dr said some people stay on, and at 10mg thats ok, I could stay on for life if need be. And I probably would have except 2 years on my life is stable, I feel much better and the only real reason I want OFF is the weight gain. Vain yes, but its getting me down and bringing up all kinds of self image issues I never had before as I have always been a skinny person.

 

Anyway - My Doc said take 5mg for 2 weeks then stop. I stopped Saturday and the symptoms have been worsening since. Brain zaps, vertigo, cannot handle bright light, sounds, I am dizzy and then the emotions started. Tears and panic and anger and things I have not seen in a looooooooooooooong time. I couldn't make the drive to work yesterday and pulled over, called in 'sick' with a migraine which is not far from how I feel and booked to see the Doc.

 

I don't want to go back on and slow taper. I am so upset and angry that I am going through this and my stubborn side says push on,get this hell over with faster but the physical symptoms such as the headaches do have me screaming for help.

 

My research indicates I would be best going back to 5 and slow tapering OR trying a taper with Prozac due to its longer half life. I'm leaning towards Prozac. I guess you could say after this I never ever want another Lexapro in my system.

 

I have heard to reinstate with Prozac at equivalent to lowest dose of Lexapro (5mg) or that taking just one 20mg Prozac will relieve these symptoms and it then tapers itself off.

 

I am throwing down fish oil, vitamin b, and Benadryl but no relief so I'm thinking I need some form of SSRI to make it go 'back to normal' yes? Would love your experiences with the Prozac substitute. I just can't believe the happy me that I was only a week ago could get so lost, so quickly.

March 2010 - Lexapro for Post Natal Anxiety 10mgs

April 2011 - Weaned off, all good

August 2011 - Back on to Lexapro 10mg due to extreme life events

April 2014 - Attempting to wean off...and experiencing tough withdrawal.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Kimbo, you are suffering from withdrawal and the only cure for withdrawal is

reinstatement as you already guessed.  If you were doing ok on lexapro I think I would

go back to that instead of switching. Sometimes people switch to prozac from effexor

or pristiq because they are notoriously difficult to get off.   

As it is only a few days since stopping I would reinstate at 9mg, that way you will have

reduced by 10% . Wait there for a few weeks and then start to taper slowly. 

No-one ever wants to reinstate but it really is the best thing to do, especially if you are

having a hard time now.   Here is the topic on tapering lexapro

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/406-tapering-off-lexapro-escitalopram/

 

And the topic on bridging with prozac

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1463-the-prozac-switch-or-bridging-with-prozac/

 

The reason I would stick with lexapro is that you know you don't have any adverse effects from it,

but you may have some undesirable side effects from prozac.  Not sure I would want to take the

risk, but it's your call! 

 

Be careful with the supplements too, fish oil is fine, but the multi b vits can be very activating for

some and some people find benadryl makes withdrawal worse. 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Thanks so much for this and those links. Excellent info.

Good point re "better the devil you know"

I guess despite Lexapro being my little helper for 3 years, after one week of these hellish symptoms I now see it as the enemy and never ever want to be on it again - only due to how hard it is to come off. I guess I am idolising Prozac as being a better alternative as I now suddenly despise the Lexapro.

 

I had a bad time weaning *on* to Lexapro as well (much shorter, but was very very out of it and feeling drugged for about 72 hrs). Do you think restarting after 6 days with none and it clearing my system will make then worse before better? Of course, just curious and I know only I can tell :-)

 

Interesting about the supplements too. I only added the B vitamins in today and the head shocks have been less which is good - its just the out of control emotion thats killer and not responding to anything. Bleh. Stupid head meds. Glad to find such supportive threads and people though. Thank you.

March 2010 - Lexapro for Post Natal Anxiety 10mgs

April 2011 - Weaned off, all good

August 2011 - Back on to Lexapro 10mg due to extreme life events

April 2014 - Attempting to wean off...and experiencing tough withdrawal.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, kimbo.

 

If I were you, I'd take 5mg Lexapro right away. It comes in a liquid, see the link mammaP gave you.

 

You probably will not have any start-up problems, hopefully it will stop your withdrawal symptoms.

 

I don't believe there would be any advantage to switching to Prozac at this point. Sometimes the switch doesn't work, and then you're out of the frying pan into the fire.

 

Better to try a direct, very gradual taper from Lexapro.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Alto is suggesting you take 5mg whereas I said 9mg. Alto is the expert here and I

would follow her suggestion of the 5mg.  Sorry if I confused you, I am not as experienced

as Alto but learning fast.   :)

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • Administrator

Oh, sorry, I suggested 5mg because that's where kimbo stopped before.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I recommend going back on the Lexapro as well.  We've had some people on this forum try the Prozac bridge and I honestly don't remember any of them being successful. Keep in mind also that Lexapro is a very strong drug so that 10 mg. of Lex is equivalent to 20 to 30 mg. of Prozac. I'd start at 5 mg. of Lex and give it four days to a week to take effect. Let us know how you're doing on that.

 

The reason a slow taper is necessary is that the SSRI/SNRI antidepressants make real, physical changes in the brain, creating a chemical dependency on the drug.  Stopping the drug abruptly is like yanking a crutch away from someone with a broken leg, allowing them to fall and hurt themselves even worse. Weaning slowly allows the brain to rebuild itself back to its normal, undrugged state.

 

Welcome to the forum, Kimbo.  I'm glad you found us early on.

 

 

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Thanks so much guys! I saw a Dr (albeit a complete idiot who was hopeless and had I not done my research on here would probably have just said either ride it out or that I should go to hospital!?!!) but I got a script for the liquid as well as the tablets. I took a 5mg dose at 7pm just as the head zaps and dizziness worsened and honestly....I felt 'normal' by 10pm. Unfortunately the restless legs kicked in and if anything I was a bit hyper after my week of being in a bad place but yeah..

 

I was sad to to go back on but have an appointment with my regular Doc in 2 weeks so will discuss a slooooooower wean then and stay at 5mg for a while.

 

I hate that withdrawing gave me such horrible effects and despite being initially sad and angry to take that dose and 'go back' today I felt so much better. Smiles, went for a run, back to old me so quickly it was a little bit of a shock as if I dreamt that last week of hell. Thank you for the advice, I'm glad I took it. Hoping for an easier attempt at coming off in the future now I am 'stable' at least.

March 2010 - Lexapro for Post Natal Anxiety 10mgs

April 2011 - Weaned off, all good

August 2011 - Back on to Lexapro 10mg due to extreme life events

April 2014 - Attempting to wean off...and experiencing tough withdrawal.

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  • Administrator

Good to hear. You may wish to take the 5mg earlier in the day so if it has activating effects, it will affect your sleep less.

 

To take it earlier, move the dose by a couple of hours a day.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Don't be alarmed if you have some ups and downs. It seems to be typical for people to feel better right away when they reinstate, then to have some wobbles as the days go along. You'll settle down and stabilize after a while. Once you've been pretty steady for two or three weeks you can start thinking about tapering.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • Administrator

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to post

 

Before I find time reading the entire thread, a quick experience sharing on lexapro. If anyone is taking the generic form of lex, please be aware of their differences. I was switched to generic in 2012 without self awareness soon after it is available in the market, and the nightmare started with severe and constant (24/7) jaw pain, neck and shoulder pain on the left side which eventually lead to panic attack. After 1.5 years on the generic, I switched back to name brand, and now almost 5 months ever since, the pain just started lesson in a minimal manner. Be careful and check if you are on generic and getting any new and worsening symptoms on top of original ones. I did lots of research on various aspects of Ssri and their withdrawal, will share more once a chance.

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Kimbo74,

I'm glad to hear you are starting to feel better now you have reinstated.

 

LexAnger, thank you for sharing your lexapro experience, please would you start a topic for yourself in introductions so that we can get to know you better.

 

Petu.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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